As I mentioned in my previous "Istanbul part 1" post we wanted to do everything "Turkish way", but lets be real it can be pretty tuff to do everything Turkish way when you don't even know what Turkish people do. So, we did what we all do; we googled. And what we found out that Turkish people don't considered you to be a real Turkish (turk?) if you never done hamam bath. This sounded perfect of course we wanted to try this out. We booked a hamam bath/spa kind of package at the AYASOFYA Hurrem Sultan Hamami.
So we packed our backpack (thank God backpacks are back in fashion) and took a cab to the hamam. It took us just seconds to realize that we were in a middle of a tourist area. On the left side we had the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque and on our right side we had Hagia Sophia also a well known mosque.
As we walk in to the hamam (girls separated from boys) and I'm staring to fill in the formula if you are allergic, pregnant, on your period and so on, I noticed the price was much
higher then what we were told over the phone. I called Frederik and I was like "I will never pay this much money to have a shower buy a random women (no disrespect but I know I can get this much cheeper somewhere else). Do you know how much shopping I can do in Istanbul with this much money?" And I could hear on Frederik voice he was sooo embarrassed on my behalf. But I finally got him to realize I wasn't negotiable so it wasn't much to do but thank the girls at the reception and get out of there asap. Ooops.
And there we were in our comfy clothes, backpack no makeup (me) with 1000 tourists around us and a Frederik who wasn't so happy he didn't got his hamam. Anyway, we decided we could at least see the Sultan Ahmed Mosque also well known as the Blue Mosque. Neither of us had ever been in a mosque before and I was so glad we got to see it. It was beautiful!!! So historical and peaceful it felt like stepping into a different world for a minute.
Frederik looks more happy then he was. I just think he should thank me since I just saved him quite a lot of money ;)
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque)
Im wering Frederiks scarf since women are not allowed to show their hair.
Inside. Beautiful, right?
After we decided we would try to find a local bar somewhere where we could have a drink. After walking for like 1.5 hour we finally found something we liked (read I liked, but Frederik liked it also. I just don't think he really knew what to expect). It was a local reggae bar....
I obviously felt I was at the right spot
Drugs are illegal!
The upcoming days we did some shopping, ate, had dinners, drinks, did some more shopping, and of course we made some bargain at famous Grand Bazaar, ate a little bit more because the food was sooo good! AND we got to try out hamam bath, Finally!
We found this amazing restaurant called GUNEY just by Galata tower. The food, the wine, the staff, everything was great. We can highly recommend this place.
Tea time at Grand Bazaar
We had this amazing dinner at the restaurant Chilai in Bebek. The restaurant has the most amazing view, great food, good music and everyone who worked there was so kind. But with all of that comes also a much higher price ;)
After dinner we took a private boat from the restaurant to our hotel and we got to explore the famous Bosphorus sea channel buy night. Lovely!
Frederik all relax after his hamam bath he's been waiting for the hole trip.
This hamam was really nice and cheep (around 100dkk). But, we did have a small accident, Frederik discovered five minutes later he had forgotten his Gucci scarf at the hamam. We went back but the staff had already burned the scarf as they do with all lost items. Weird but true. Question is if we really saved any money since we had to buy a new one :)
We had such a good time in Istanbul. What we were most surprised of was how kind, helpful and friendly people were. It wont be long until we visit Istanbul again.
Frederik & Andréa